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Bexleyheath shopping centre goes green, and gets award shortlisting as a result

PUBLISHED: 11:41 03 August 2015 | UPDATED: 11:41 03 August 2015

Sue Wilder by the baled compressed cardboard at The Broadway. PIC: www.matthewwalkerphotography.com

Sue Wilder by the baled compressed cardboard at The Broadway. PIC: www.matthewwalkerphotography.com

www.matthewwalkerphotography.com

It has reduced its energy consumption by more than a quarter

The Broadway, Bexleyheath. General shots, some with centre manager Peter Sedge. PIC: www.matthewwalkerphotography.comThe Broadway, Bexleyheath. General shots, some with centre manager Peter Sedge. PIC: www.matthewwalkerphotography.com

A Bexleyheath shopping centre has gone green, earning itself a shortlisting in a top environmental award after it cut its electricity usage by a whopping 26 per cent.

Broadway Shopping Centre’s work has also seen it slash its carbon emissions by 113 tonnes after a mammoth effort by managers, staff and retailers at the centre over the last two years.

Reductions in the amount of power used have been gained at the centre by looking at when lights are switched on, with work taking place to minimise the use of lighting when it’s unnecessary.

The energy saving drive comes after a success at the centre to minimise the amount of rubbish being sent to landfill. In 2012, the shopping centre managed to record a fall to zero. Now, the shopping centre has been shortlisted for its work by independent not-for-profit Green Organisation. It has been put forward for the ‘Green Apple Award for environmental best practise in 2013/14’.

Broadway shopping centre manager Peter Sedge said: “Following our review we started by looking at the lighting times within the car park.

“One of our first key successes was we found that adjustments could be made to early morning cleaning times both here and on our malls, and by adjusting these we created an initial saving of 11,260 kwh.

“With further monitoring and improvements this was followed by further adjustments creating increased savings in 2013/14 totalling 36,890kwh which equated to a financial saving of approximately £8,000 at no cost to the centre.

“The overall effect of all the measures we put in place amounted to a considerable saving on power use in the building. We had initially set a target to save five per cent in year one and a further two per cent in year two.

“These measures however saw us achieving a saving of 22 per cent in year one and with our continued efforts as detailed above, saw this increased to 26 per cent in year two.”

During the two-year drive to cut waste, the shopping centre slashed its carbon emissions by 113 tonnes of CO2, saving 529,738 kWh. It made some serious cost savings too, with £24,969 of energy costs shaved from its expenditure.

Mr Sedge said that overall the project not only delivered substantial savings in energy but also bought together the in house team, contractors and our tenants.

Sue Wilders, who is operations manager at Broadway shopping centre and oversaw the project, said: “By making use of energy consumption data we were able to look closely at all areas.

“The first of these was to review cleaning contract hours.

“We were able to make changes to the out of hours cleaning regime which had immediate effect on early morning lighting usage, in our car park.

“In addition we liaised with external contractors and exhibitors to limit working and setting up times overnight.

“This was restricted to early evening only while cleaning staff were operating to prevent lighting requirements during the night. This again had an immediate effect on energy reduction.

“With these first ‘wins’ in energy reduction we moved on to look at other ways and areas within the building where further savings could be achieved, we looked at both lighting and the centres plant.

“Our focus turned to our service corridors, which do not see heavy footfall during the day, and by changing existing all day lighting to sensor controlled light fittings.

“We also changed lighting on one of our lesser used public staircases to sensor controlled lighting.

“We continued this and under took an in-depth review of our on-site plant and equipment with our contractor to see if we could make changes in other areas these included temperature set points for cooling plant, time controls and variable speed drives to various items of plant.

“Again this provided an economical means to reduce energy.”

Mr Sedge said: “We believe our commitment to our environmental controls is key to our business partners and to encourage fresh interest from new retailers.

“We now review our environmental controls at site staff meetings to ensure our site teams continue to work with us and remain interested in our green policy.

“We also discuss our environmental statistics with our retailers at regular tenant meetings which we hope will encourage them to review their own procedures.”

Mr Sedge said: “We continually work to improve our own standards, to show customers that we are a green and environmentally aware organisation.

“Looking to the future our awareness and belief in what we can achieve, and our ambition to continue to reduce our use of these important resources continues to grow.”

The centre will find out whether it has won, when the results are announced later this month.

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